Posted by: dhkrause | September 24, 2017

Unstoppable Faith

Faith Unlocks Victory

According to 1 John 5:4, faith is the victory that overcomes the world.  This is the inspiration for the grand old hymn with that title:

Faith is the Victory
(Song Lyrics, verse 4 and refrain):

To him that overcomes the foe,
White raiment shall be giv’n.
Before the angels he shall know
His name confessed in Heav’n.
Then onward from the hill of light,
Our hearts with love aflame,
We’ll vanquish all the hosts of night,
In Jesus’ conqu’ring Name.

Faith is the victory! Faith is the victory!
O glorious victory, that overcomes the world.

Faith is the victory that overcomes the world!  Here is the context for this thought provoking declaration:

1 John 5 (NASB)
Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

Born Again

To better understand what believing in Jesus Christ has to do with being “born again”, we turn to the beginning of John’s gospel:

John 1 (NKJV)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

We learn more about what it means to be “born again” in John chapter 3, just before the famous verse, John 3:16: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

John 3_16

John 3 (NKJV)
There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”

Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”

Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Believing in Jesus and receiving Him is much more than a mere mental assent that He is the Christ, the Savior sent from God.  It means putting your whole trust in Him to keep every promise, and walking with Him in loving obedience.  It is said that the longest distance in the universe is the distance between the head and the heart!Bruce OlsonThis was illustrated by an interaction missionary Bruce Olson (Bruchko) had in Columbia with a young Indian lad named Bobby who was helping him during his recovery from some injuries.  All the people in the village slept in hammocks, so he had to do the same.  However, to keep from falling out while sleeping, he kept one leg out of the hammock with his foot on the ground.  This was causing him to wake up with serious aches and pains.

Bobby advised him, “Bruchko, you need to have complete trust in the hammock, and put both feet in!”  He summoned up the courage and tried it, and it worked!  Later Bobby told him he wanted to come to Jesus but was afraid to trust Him completely with his life.  Bruchko replied, “Bobby, you just need to jump in with both feet!”  The young man returned later and declared, “Bruchko, I get it!  I’m trusting Jesus with my whole heart!”

Complete trust is shown by acting on your faith, as in the story about an acrobat preparing to ride a bike over a tightrope strung between two cliffs. He turned and asked a young male onlooker, “Do you believe I can do this?”  The boy answered, “Yes I do!”  The man replied, “Great, hop on!”

In His earthly ministry, Jesus focused on reaching “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 15:24).  However, he had great compassion for gentiles who came to Him in faith.  In the following incident, the woman asking for help believed not only that He could help her, but that He would. So even when Jesus seemed to be denying her request, she took heart and persisted with unstoppable faith!

Great is Thy Faith

Matthew 15 (NKJV)
A Gentile Shows Her Faith
21 Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.”

23 But He answered her not a word.

 And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.”

24 But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

25 Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!”

26 But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”

27 And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”

28 Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, https://compellinglove.net/, 9/23/2017

Photo credits:
http://www.breakthroughforyou.com/faith-is-our-victory/
http://tellmethatstory.com/born-again
http://larrytherubbishman.com/john316.htm
https://christianlifemissions.org/causes/bruce-olson-ministries/
https://www.pinterest.com/Dunkeleben/matthew-1527-yet-the-dogs-eat-of-the-crumbs-which-/


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